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DrSouthBay's Profile

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Bagels near Times Square

We would always go there when we stayed in the East 50's. I was hoping for something a little bit closer that was a step above a random street cart.

Jul 05, 2013
DrSouthBay in Manhattan

Bagels near Times Square

What are the best bagels near Times Square? I'm looking for a place within walking distance.

Jul 04, 2013
DrSouthBay in Manhattan

Brooklyn bridge marriott area

Thanks. Cafe Pedlar was exactly what I was looking for. I will try La Bagel and Court Street.

Feb 06, 2012
DrSouthBay in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn bridge marriott area

Are there any places for good coffee or bagels within walking distance of the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott?

Feb 03, 2012
DrSouthBay in Outer Boroughs

Lido Di Manhattan - Unexpectedly Good Meal in Manhattan Beach

I've eaten here twice in the past few months, once by choice and once I was dragged their by other people. I was really unimpressed.

The wine list came straight from a distributor with all uninteresting mass market brands.

The service was at best disinterested and at worst just bad. I ordered a gin martini, and I got a vodka martini. It took about 10 minutes to flag someone down to replace it.

Both times the service was very slow. Appetizers came out late followed very shortly with entrees. The next time, entrees were not all delivered at the same time.

The menu is kind of interesting, but it also reads like a stereotype of all the current hot trends as interpreted by Macaroni Grill. Even so, the menu is too complicated for the skill level of the kitchen. The product tasted like it came for Sysco, not a farmer's market.

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Lido Di Manhattan Restaurant
1550 Rosecrans Avenue Suite G, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Nov 19, 2010
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Portugal Questions - Algarve, Evora, Coimbra, & Lisbon

The advice from monchique and vinhotinto75 was fantastic. We didn't have a single bad meal in Portugal, either at their recommendations or at places we found on our own. The wines we had were fantastic values. The Vinho Verdes, Alentejo reds, Douro whites and reds, Dao reds, and of course the ports were very good. The most we paid for wine at a restaurant was about 40 Euro, and usually we spent under 15 Euro. The soft cheeses, especially the ones from around Coimbra (Queijo da Serra), were amazing. The couvert or pao e manteiga (correct phrase?) almost always consisted of good rustic bread and local cheese and maybe sausage. I was usually happy to pay a few Euro for this.

Some specific comments:

Mar a Vista (Sagres): We had a very good cataplana with monkfish, and the kids had some of the best fried fish that I have ever had. The location and service were great.

Vila Vehla (Sagres): We had simple, fresh grilled fish. The turbot was particularly good. A bit more upscale and pricier than Mar a Vista, but still a good value.

Rui's (Silves): We had the seafood platter with assorted shellfish and clams for the kids. The shrimp and clams were particularly good. Overall a good experience, but the some of the items including the lobster were a tad overcooked for my taste. I noticed this in other Portuguese restaurants as well.

Sao Roque (Lagos): Fabulous, perfectly cooked grilled fish (sea bream and emperor fish) plus a nice octopus salad at the beach in a fine setting.

Don Joquim (Evora): Utterly fantastic braised pork cheeks and stewed lamb migas. One of the best meals of the trip. Friendly service without being overly familiar.

O Fialho (Evora): A bit of a letdown after Don Joquim and more expensive. The pork & clams were decent, and my wife had a meat dish that was OK but that I can't remember. The service was a bit stiff and overly formal.

Bonjardim (Lisbon): Really good grilled chicken. A definite hit.

Esquina de Fe (Lisbon): Obviously a place for locals with just well cooked simple food. We had grouper and a duck rice that were perfect. Really friendly service as well.

Fabrica (Lisbon): Great value seafood place. We had one of the platters with lobster, salmon, and whitefish for 34 Euros that was so big we couldn't finish it all. The service was fine, but a bit odd.

Solor dos Presuntos (Lisbon): I gather it is somewhat an institution, and it was an appropriate place for our last meal. Good value and good food in a nice setting. Big wine list. I had fried pork that was recommended by the waiter and was good. An example of what you can do with high quality ingredients. My wife had turbot with a nice spinach side.

Jul 12, 2010
DrSouthBay in Spain/Portugal

the algarve in august

We stayed in Sagres at the Pontalaia Apartments in late June with a 6 and 3 year old. It was not the high season, and it was not at all crowded. We had a wonderful time and the apartment was fantastic with a full kitchen. Sagres is at the far Western end, but you are within easy drives of Lagos, Silves, and the Western coast and great beaches.

We didn't have any bad meals at restaurants, and there is a supermarket in Sagres as well. We really enjoyed meals at Mar a Vista and Vila Vehla in Sagres, Sao Roque in Lagos, and Rui's in Silves. The seafood was fantastic, and all the places were welcoming with the kids.

Jul 12, 2010
DrSouthBay in Spain/Portugal

South Bay Dinner

Strongly second Tin Roof. Good cocktail/beer/wine list, and really well done American food. Gina Lee's is excellent, but it is Asian fusion seafood. Buona Sera is a great Southern Italian place in South Redondo.

Jun 25, 2010
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #2 - 06/23/10 (Spoilers)

Thanks for clarifying. Either way it would have been a bad decision, but putting 2 pounds of sugar in a bad tasting healthy dessert seems a lot worse.

Jun 24, 2010
DrSouthBay in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #2 - 06/23/10 (Spoilers)

I thought she bought sherry vinegar, not sherry.

Jun 24, 2010
DrSouthBay in Food Media & News

Where to buy chilis

http://www.penzeys.com/ or the Penzeys stores in Torrance on Hawthorne or Santa Monica on 4th St. They have dried ancho, ground ancho, dried piquin, and assorted other dried chilis and chili powders.

Jun 19, 2010
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Portugal Questions - Algarve, Evora, Coimbra, & Lisbon

Thanks vinhotinto75 and monchique for the prompt comments and good advice. I will post after the trip.

Jun 18, 2010
DrSouthBay in Spain/Portugal

Portugal Questions - Algarve, Evora, Coimbra, & Lisbon

We are traveling to Portugal (Algarve, Evora, Coimbra, & Lisbon) in late June. We are a family with two kids ages 4 and 7, and we will have a car except for when we are in Lisbon. All price ranges are fine, good food and drink is the primary criteria. I have a few specific questions.

We land in Lisbon at noon, and are driving directly to Sagres. Does anyone have ideas for a quick lunch either near the airport or along the route?

Algarve: We are staying in the Pontalaia Apartments in Sagres, and will likely stick to the area West of Lagos including Silves. Are there good breakfast/coffee options in Sagres? What about markets and grocery stores? We will definitely go to some of the great sounding recommendations from Monchique and others such as Rui's in Silves, Mar a Vista, Vila Velha, Eiro do Mel, and Gabriel.

Driving from Sagres to Evora, are there any suggestions for places to stop for lunch and walking around? Looking at a map, Beja seems a convenient place to stop.

Evora: We are staying inside the city walls. Any comments on the following places: Don Joaquim, Fialho, Tasquinha d'Oliveira, Lis, Luar de Janeiro, or Taverna? Other places?

Driving from Evora to Coimbra, we will stop in Batalha. Any recommendations there?

Coimbra: We are staying at the Pousada Condeixa-a-Nova - Santa Cristina. Is the restaurant at the pousada any good? From what I have read online it sounds like many of the pousada restaurants are not very good. O Cabritino has some good reviews. How about other places in Condeixa-a-Nova or Coimbra? A Taberna is recommended on this board, and A Capella and Ze Manel dos Ossos are recommended in "The Wine and Food Lover's Guide to Portugal."

Driving from Coimbra to Lisbon we may stop in Alcobaca or Obidos. Any recommendations?

In Lisbon we are staying near the Avenida Metro. I've gone through the board for recommendations for Lisbon, Sintra, and Belem. Places such as Bonjardim, Gambrinus, Sinal Vermelho, and Solar dos Presuntos sound good. Anything else near our hotel that stands out? Is it appropriate to bring our kids to Solar Do Vinho do Porto? How about a place such as Os Goliardos? Also, we would like to go to one destination restaurant where the kids would not be out of place, if possible.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Jun 17, 2010
DrSouthBay in Spain/Portugal

Melisse 10-yr Anniversary - The Ten Classic Dishes

I agree with your high end hotel food comment if you are referring to Michelin 1 and 2 star restaurants in French countryside hotels.

Melisse is consistently one of the best meals in LA and worthy of 2 Michelin stars.

Aug 04, 2009
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Help with Beach Cities Birthday Dinner

I don't think there is a good Northern Italian place in the Beach Cities with entrees less than $20.

Ortega 120 in Redondo is a great Mexican place: http://www.ortega120.com/

Aug 04, 2009
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Mark Bittman: Expert in Residence!

There is nothing incompatible with fast cooking and producing quality food using the best ingredients. I don't think people are critical of Rachel Ray because she makes 30 minute meals. They are critical because they don't like the recipes or the way that she markets herself.

Another great book is "Fast Food My Way" by Jacques Pepin.

Aug 04, 2009
DrSouthBay in Home Cooking

The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach

I've eaten there about 4 times, not by my choice. The food is not good. Think Holiday Inn in Kansas.

If you have no alternative to eating there, have the steak. It's better than overcooked farmed salmon or the rubber chicken.

The drinks are weak as well. But, you go for the comedy which can be fantastic.

Feb 13, 2009
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Need a good restaurant in Manhattan Beach

Petros, Towne, and Darren's are all good choices depending on your food preferences.

If you are willing to drive, Brix 1601 is my new favorite place. Incredible wine list with well thought out food to go with the wine.

http://www.brix1601.com/

[Aside: Why do most good upscale restaurants have horrible flash-driven websites that make it difficult to find useful information.

]

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Brix 1601
1601 Pacific Coast Highway , Suite 290, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Dec 05, 2008
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Greek Restaurants?

What kind of fun?

A casual place with outstanding traditional Greek food and Greek families having a good time? Papa Cristos.

A trendy place with outstanding modern Greek cuisine, fancy cocktails, and a bar? Petros.

A traditional Greek restaurant with welcoming owners, belly dancing, and a festive atmosphere? Papadakis Taverna.

I highly recommend Petros. Papa Christos is more of a Sunday lunch place for me. It's very good, but I don't think it is what you have in mind. Papadakis has seen better days, IMO.

Oct 22, 2008
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Northern Italian vs. Southern Italian

I haven't been there in at least 6 months, so I'm not sure I can recommend anything specific. In general, I love their Antipasti and Pasta. Like at most Italian restaurants, I find the Primi the least interesting items on the menu, and I don't usually order one. I vaguely recall being underwhelmed by meat dishes that my wife has ordered.

Oct 22, 2008
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Northern Italian vs. Southern Italian

Simplistically, the difference between Northern and Southern Italian food is that in the North butter and cream are common, while in the South it is olive oil and tomatoes. Northern food also can feature more high end cuts of meat. This completely glosses over the regional differences between Bologna,Tuscany, Campania, Puglia, etc.

In common usage, Northern vs. Southern Italian is also used to differentiate the simple tomato sauce heavy spaghetti and meatball dishes common to Americanized Italian restaurants vs. the perceived more refined cuisine of fine dining Italian restaurants.

My favorite Italian restaurant is Drago, it is upscale and refined but the owner is Sicilian and the food more Southern in style. Valentino's is a more Northern Italian. The food can be excellent, but I have found the service to be hit and miss depending on whether or not you are perceived to be a "somebody."

A small notch below these places is Buona Sera in Redondo Beach. The owners are from Puglia in the South, so the food has a bias towards that cuisine. Likewise, La Sosta in Hermosa Beach has a Northern bent.

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La Sosta Enoteca
2700 Manhattan Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Valentino (Santa Monica)
3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

Buona Sera Ristorante
247 Avenida del norte, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Drago Restaurant
2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

Oct 22, 2008
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Dinner in Redondo

This is the old Cocole space? I've been meaning to try this. It will go on top of the list along with the new Chez Melange.

I also want to mention Ortega 120, the new modern Mexican restaurant on PCH in South Redondo. It kind of reminds me of what Coyote Cantina was years ago - new and exciting food with great margaritas and a fun atmosphere.

Oct 16, 2008
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area

Dinner in Redondo

Two great upscale Italian places are Buona Sera in South Redondo and La Sosta in Hermosa Beach. I highly recommend either one.

Brix 1601 is the new wine bar in Hermosa Beach that has a lot of good buzz. I think the food is very good, and the wine list is outstanding. It has beach chic-casual thing going that I like.

Petros is another newish restaurant in Manhattan Beach that it pretty happening at the moment. I would call the cuisine modern Greek, unlike anything else in the LA area, but not unique in places like New York. It is also next to the Shade Hotel which was written about in the LA Times Food Section today as a good place to meet for a drink.

Gina Lee's is a good choice for Asian fusion. It's a bit more casual than the other places. We go there semi-regularly, but it can be a bit uneven.

Christine is also a good choice for upscale seasonal American. We have always had friendly service there.

I haven't been to Aimee's in a few years. I thought the food was OK, but the service was either great or awful.

I don't think the new Chez Melange is open yet. It was great, cutting edge food 15 years ago, but it had become tired. I'm looking forward to seeing how they update the menu in their new location.

For ultra-casual (Dive) places with great fresh seafood, the Redondo Pier is a good choice. Either Pacific Fish Center or Quality Seafood are good.

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La Sosta Enoteca
2700 Manhattan Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Buona Sera Ristorante
247 Avenida del norte, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Brix 1601
1601 Pacific Coast Highway , Suite 290, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Oct 15, 2008
DrSouthBay in Los Angeles Area